Do Cruise Ships Have Gyms? Are They Free and Other FAQ’s


If you’re taking a cruise you may be wondering if cruise ships have gyms. In this post we explore what you will find in cruise ship gyms, when they’re open, what facilities you can expect to find and how old you need to be to use a cruise ship gym.

Do Cruise Ships Have Gyms?

Yes. Most cruise ships have gyms. The facilities do vary by cruise ship and cruise line but even small cruise ships normally have a gym of some sort. In addition to gyms, many cruise lines also offer exercise classes.

Most cruise line gyms have great views as they are usually located at the top of the ship. On a lot of the Royal Caribbean ships, the gym is located above a big bar which I always find amusing. When walking around the top decks of the ship you are able to see people sitting around drinking and then people running on treadmills just above them.

The gym can be a great place to get an unspoiled view of a sunrise or sunset.

Sapphire Princess Gym Princess Cruises Ship Shape Program

Are Cruise Ship Gyms Free to Use?

Cruise ship gyms are free to use on almost all cruise lines. I’ve never personally encountered a cruise ship gym that I had to pay for and I did not find any evidence during my research for this post that any cruise lines had charges to use the gym area.

Some cruise lines, however, do charge for activities like the following:

  • Spin Classes
  • Yoga Classes
  • Pilates Classes
  • Dance Classes
  • Zumba Classes

Other Free Workout Options

Asides from the gym there are usually a number of other ways to stay healthy onboard. I’ve actually never put on weight when I cruise but I do still treat myself and rarely go in the gym itself. To find out how I do this check out this post: Avoid Cruise Ship Weight Gain – 7 Easy Things You Can Do.

Running Track

Most cruise ships will include a running track which passes around much of the top deck. You’d be surprised how much ground you can cover through a couple of laps of the track. From memory, the last cruise ship I was on was 1/3rd of a mile if you ran the running track.

The running track is usually on the top deck where you’ll find people sunbathing/wandering around. Some runners do find other passengers get in their way when running so it might be worth running at a less popular time in order to make sure you have a clear path. Running early in the morning or later in the evening might be a good idea.

Sports Court

Most cruise ships also have a sports court which will include things like basketball courts, golf simulators, and mini football pitches. Sports courts are always free to use. On occasion, the kids clubs/teen clubs may use the sports court and at these times you may not be able to use the court.

MSC Sports Court Do They Have Gyms?
MSC Sports Court

Walk a Mile

I’ve been on a number of cruise lines which have a ‘walk a mile’ event early in the morning. This is usually hosted by a member of the cruise entertainment team and they will walk you around the walking track. This does sound like a great way to start the day although I’ll usually still be asleep at this time.

What Will You Find in a Cruise Ship Gym?

  • Cardio Equipment – Treadmills, ellipticals, rowing machines etc.

There will be a number of cardio machines in most cruise ship gyms. On some of the more luxurious cruise lines, each machine will have a bottle of water and a little towel ready for you to use.

Some large ships have a LOT of cardio machines. The Oasis of the Seas has over 150! I do go to the gym when I’m not cruising but my gym only has around 15 machines.

  • Resistance Machines – Chest Press, Leg Press, Shoulder Press etc.

Most cruise ships also have some resistance machines. If the gym is smaller it may not have any of these.

  • Free Weights

Even the smallest gyms have a free weight section. I recently took my first river cruise and even the gym onboard the Emerald Liberte had a free weight section in the gym. I was amazed that a river cruise ship would have a gym at all, to be honest! It was really lovely. If I could have the gym from the Emerald Libertie in my house I would be over the moon.

MSC Cruise Ship Free Weights
MSC Gym

What are the opening times of cruise ship gyms?

Generally speaking cruise ship gyms open early in the morning and close late at night. If you want to go at a quiet time I would recommend going either early, late or during meal times. It’s amazing how much quieter the gym is at lunch or dinner.

Example opening times:

Royal Caribbean, Navigator of The Seas: 6am – 10pm

Celebrity Eclipse: 6am – 11pm

Signing a Waiver

When using a gym on a cruise ship you’ll usually be asked to sign a waiver before you are allowed to use the facilities. This is a normal practice which says that you won’t hold the cruise line liable for any injuries you sustain when working out. This will usually only happen on your first trip to the gym and after this point, the cruise line will know that you’ve signed the waiver. Each cruise line has a different way of showing that you’ve signed the waiver but many will put a sticker on your cruise card to make it easy to show.

Cruise Ship Gym Changing Rooms & Facilities

Cruise ship gyms will usually have changing rooms which mean that you don’t have to get changed in your room and walk across the ship in your gym wear, although this would be okay.

There will also be showers and lockers for you to leave your things. The changing rooms are often shared with the spa facilities as the gym and spa are usually located in the same complex. The changing rooms are almost always split by gender.

Facilities

On ‘luxury’ cruise lines you will find bottles of water and towels around the gym room waiting to be used. On a ‘budget’ cruise line you probably wouldn’t encounter this but there will still be paper towels around to wipe down the machines after use and a water fountain to fill up a bottle or a cup.

Many cruise ship gyms also have scales. I have never felt the desire to weigh myself on a cruise but some people do!

MSC Gym

Cruise Ship Gym Frequently Asked Questions:

How old do you have to be to use a gym on a cruise ship?

You usually have to be 18 to use the gym alone. If you are under 18 you are normally able to use the gym if with a parent or guardian but may not be allowed to use all equipment or take part in classes. On some cruise lines, the age is 16 but it is rarely below this.

Below is Royal Caribbeans policy on gym entry:

Guests must be 16 of over to enter the gym.

*** Guests ages 13 to 15 may be permitted to utilize the Fitness Centre during certain times of the day; provided the young guest is accompanied and supervised at all times by their parent or guardian and provided a waiver of liability has been signed by the parent or guardian who is present in the fitness centre. See the Cruise Compass or contact Guest Services for the specific Fitness Centre age restrictions on your cruise vacation. – source.

Do cruise ships have personal trainers?

Yep. A lot of the bigger cruise ships will have personal trainers onboard. These sessions can be booked when onboard.

Where to Next?

If you have any cruise questions or photos/stories you’d like to share please do join us in our Facebook group. We have members from all over the world and they’re all happy to help. Join us here: Cruising Isn’t Just For Old People. 

cruising isnt just for old people facebook group

 

 

Emma Le Teace

Hey! I'm Emma. A cruise blogger, YouTuber and founder of the 'Cruising Isn't Just For Old People' Facebook community and website. You can learn more here: About Me.

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